Alone – it doesn’t matter where, the word keeps cropping up. Sea of people at the shops, alone. In class picking partners, an odd number, the one left alone.
Or where I am now, surrounded by fog in the Breacon Beacons – alone.
Does it really matter if I’m not with others? It shouldn’t, but it does. I should just be happy ‘to be myself’ and ‘unique’ or any other motivational nonsense that adults and optimists spit out. Yet I’m not.
My cynical side always points out that it may only be because I’m ‘unique’ that this doesn’t work.
However, that doesn’t matter, because I am alone now. Not a person in sight or hearing range and I have a choice. Lives are made by choices when we think about it. Even thinking about choices is a choice: ‘this or that’, ‘left or right’, ‘good or bad’. Our lives are ruled by choices and most aren’t even our own.
But here I am in the Breacon Beacons with my choice: keep on walking, one foot in front, maybe one day I reach the finish line; or stop.
Stop. It’s quite a strange word when you think about it; it applies to all these fickle things and yet, it can have dire consequences.
If I stop, the cold fog will seep in, the moisture will cling to my body, cooling me further. Eventually hypothermia will reach me, I will feel warm as my body shuts down. As I stop forever.
Maybe stopping won’t be a good idea; maybe people will hate me for giving in, but ‘look on the bright side’ I won’t care, I’ll be dead.
I’ve been alone; I am alone, but maybe I don’t have to be alone in the next life or, if not, it will be nothing new.
My feet are still moving. My internal debate hasn’t stopped them yet. The fog covers my movements, blocks out the light and casts only vague shadows to influence what could be my final choice.
Then my feet stop. Do I know why? Of course not, how can we really understand the human mind? I can guess, but I only know for sure as much as I know what direction East is in this fog.
The uncertainty, the aloneness or the ease: these could all be reasons, as I lie down looking into the blankness. I should be fine alone. It shouldn’t matter; many people go on despite much worse circumstances, yet I’m not.
It should be fine; I should be fine.
I’m alone, though and I’m not.
The fog starts to lift, as I continue to fall.
Even the blankness of cloud leaves me alone.